We assume our home will still be standing when we return to it.
We usually assume our loved ones will be here and available when we call them.
These common assumptions are normal and allow us to focus on our daily activities without having to check to see if the ground will support us with each step, or if the next breath will come.
But let’s look at the many, many assumptions that cause suffering.
Some examples are:
We assumed someone was telling the truth.
We assumed we could put off calling a loved one until tomorrow and found he/she had died during the night.
We assumed our car would start and missed an important event.
We assume the pain we are experiencing will not stop.
We assume this unpleasant news we have received is bad.
We assume winning the lottery is a cause for unlimited joy.
We assume we cannot handle “this”—whatever it might be.
We assume something pleasant is really good news.
We assume what we have been taught about ourselves is true.
We assume not attending to our unhappiness will make life better.
This list could go on and on.
My suggestion is to note our assumptions and ask what supporting evidence exists.
And then ask, “Can I prove it? How?”
These questions opens us to larger areas of investigation.
Do want to hear all the evidence, or not?
How free do we want to be? This is the question.
Are we able to bear the uncertainty of waiting for a large enough investigation before a skillful decision can be made?
What appears bad at first often turns out to be the best thing that could have happened, given the circumstances.
And vice versa.
So, today, what are you assuming?
What if you assumed that you are doing the best you know how?
What if you assumed that you are a good person who sometimes does unwise things, and that you really do desire to do no harm, to yourself or to anyone?
How would you speak and act with these assumptions?
What if you assumed help is here within you right now, and that guidance is always available?
What if you looked for clues each day, rather than fasten onto a particular assumption?
Teilhard de Chardin called this directed groping. He believed evolution is an upward directional force drawing everyone and everything higher, and that everything—including humanity—gropes towards this rising force.
Until this is proved wrong, I’m going with it!
My greatest desire is to develop compassion, equanimity and empathy for all beings. I believe this is the energy of love that draws us all higher.
Being human we all need help from something greater than our own personal knowledge. We all need guidance. Let’s not assume it won’t appear.
Each morning upon arising I ask to be shown what I need to see or know.
Then I watch the thoughts and feelings as they enter my mind. What is their nature? How much is truth and where do assumptions lie?
Only direct experience—what is taking place in my body and heart/mind—can I call truth, for this is what is happening now. The present moment is all that is available. And I can’t cling to it, for it is continually changing and passing away.
I find a place in my heart that is willing to open to the existential uncertainty, painful as it feels. Staying with what my body, my senses, tell me calms the mind which allows wisdom to arise.
But if I expect wisdom to come, and I’m grasping for it, it won’t appear.
Expectations cause suffering.
It is my experience that the universe reveals what needs to be done and the best path of accomplishment as I wait patiently, knowing it will arise in its own time.
Especially I find this important when old patterns, such as shame and fear arise in my mind.
Will I stay open when I feel embarrassed? Will I watch and remember to breathe deeply and wait?
Or will I get caught up in a story that is filled with assumptions that cause more pain?
How long will I stay with this process?
Nothing of value grows overnight.
Patience is developed slowly. The easiest practice occurs when there is not an emotional storm and we are not overly upset.
Investigating our heart/mind regularly as part of a daily meditation practice works best.
How important does calming the mind and listening to the body for vital feedback rank in our daily agenda?
Jesus taught to be good stewards as what we do in the small things will carry over into the larger.
We can learn to be good stewards of each moment, investigating our assumptions, noticing what we are thinking and feeling. This might seem unimportant when weighed against the things we consider so important, but is it? That might be an assumption!
This moment, lived well, plants seeds for future happy moments. And it’s within our ability to take care of just this moment.
We don’t have to handle “all” of life.
Just this moment.